Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced USD 6 Mn in grants to NGOs spread across, East, South and West Africa as part of extending the pledge made through the philanthropic arm of Google – Google.org. Launched in 2005, the mission has worked to push the boundaries of innovation when it comes to nonprofit organizations, offering fiscal, technical and personnel support.
After his visit to Nigeria in July 2017, the Google Chief made a promise to commit USD 20 Mn to the benefit of non-profits over five years. In a bid to materialize that vision, the Silicon Valley company has launched the Google Impact Challenge Africa initiative in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Affiong Osuchukwu, Google’s current head of marketing in Nigeria has promised that an initial USD 2 Mn in grants will be awarded to a dozen non-profits in the West African country.
“There will be four winners receiving a USD 250 k grant each. Three of these winners will be selected by a panel of judges, one winner will be selected through a public vote. The remaining eight runners-up will receive a USD 125 k grant each”, explains Google’s Product Marketing Manager, Abidan Adepoju. This initiative will be replicated in Kenya and South Africa respectively with the total amount of grant funding amounting to USD 6 Mn.
This will mark the inaugural Impact Challenge in Africa with past challenges having been held in Europe, South America, America, Asia and Australia. Some of the projects include Infoxchange -an Australian mobile directory providing critical support for the homeless; France’s Libraries Without Borders – that runs a global portable library solution applicable to refugees around the world and California’s Hack the Hood – a platforms that gives students real-world technology training by connecting them to small businesses that need websites. Thirty-six non-profit organizations are set to benefit from this initiative and perhaps what is most exciting about this project is the innovative ripple effect sure to be felt in Sub-Saharan Africa.